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  • Sumitomo to Start Internet Banking with 128-bit Key Encryption
  • May 19, 1998 (TOKYO) -- Sumitomo Bank Ltd. announced the launch of a new Internet banking service called Web Direct, the first in Japan to employ 128-bit key encryption, to be offered from June.
    The service targets major end users. Keys for communications outside of the United States were previously restricted to 40 bits in length.

    In January 1997, Sumitomo Bank launched PC Banking, a service that allows users to check account balances, pay bills and transfer funds using a Web browser. The service was upgraded to a 24-hour service in February 1998.

    In comparison with PC Banking, Web Direct provides expanded content and strengthened security. It uses the OnSite digital certification service developed by VeriSign Inc. of the United States, to provide communications encrypted by the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protocol and user authentication by digital ID.

    The procedure for issuing a digital ID or certificate involves a link between the OnSite authentication system for Sumitomo, operated by VeriSign Japan K.K., and Sumitomo's Web server. The bank customer accesses Sumitomo's Web Direct page from a Web browser, and fills in a form with the required information. Sumitomo Bank checks the entered details against a customer database and determines whether to issue the customer a certificate.

    If a certificate is approved, the Sumitomo system sends a request over the Internet to VeriSign Japan's Sumitomo authentication system. VeriSign Japan then issues the certificate, which reaches the user via Sumitomo Bank.

    >From the user's point of view, the certificate appears to come directly from Sumitomo. The bank does not need to pass all its customer data to VeriSign Japan. Just the minimum information for issuing a certificate, including the user's name and mail address, must be sent.

    The annual fee for Web Direct is 1,500 yen (US$11). The service will be offered with Sumitomo's existing banking service, which costs 1,000 yen (US$7.50) annually. Sumitomo will pay VeriSign Japan to process certificates. The list price of VeriSign Japan's OnSite service begin at 1.78 million yen (US$13,300) per 1,000 certificates.

    (Nikkei Open Systems)


    Copyright © 1997-98
    Nikkei BP BizTech, Inc.
    All Rights Reserved.
    Updated: Mon May 18 22:21:22 1998